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Sharks lay a Game 2 Easter egg
San Jose shut out again by Oilers
4/16/17 - By Mike Lee -

Home ice is supposed to be an advantage in hockey. The Sharks did nothing with that advantage on Sunday night, dropping Game 3 in their Western Conference Quarter Finals series with the Edmonton Oilers by getting shutout for the second consecutive game. San Jose played 20 minutes of hockey and let a mistake end up in their net midway through the 3rd period to fall 1-0 to the Oilers.

The Sharks fall behind the Oilers 2-1 in the series, but their inability to get any rubber past Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot is a major concern. San Jose hasn't scored in 120 consecutive minutes. Melker Karlsson's overtime winner in Game 1 was the last time Talbot has surrendered any form of scoring.

An absence of quality scoring chances over the last 40 minutes of Sunday's contest was a major black mark on the Sharks game. They came out firing in the 1st period, sending 13 shots at Talbot and clearly controlled the period.

They came close on several occasions in the period, but once the Oilers weathered that storm, the Sharks called it a night. It was bewildering to see such energy disappear. San Jose just seemed to pack it in.

Part of the issue with the Sharks approach, was that they never had any second chance opportunities to challenge Talbot. That was the effect of a lack of players in front of the net, and a flat footed approach whenever a puck kicked out to the front of the net.

San Jose also seemed a little over eager in the opening minutes of the game. Joe Pavleski missed on a backhand chance 3:30 into the game after rushing his chance, rather than setting his shot. Chris Tierney missed a wide open net after recieing a puck on the left side and having plenty of time to pick a spot, but his shot missed teh net by four feet.

That lack of self-generated chances and a little puck luck netted another fruitless score sheet.

All those missed opportunities in the opening period meant the Sharks had to be perfect to keep the Oilers off the board. They weren't.

With the game knotted at 0-0 in the 3rd period, defenseman David Schlemko tried to clear the puck out of his own end, but he either mis-fired on the pass out of the right corner, or he lost focus for the split second that resulted in the puck landing on the stick of Zach Kassian who was lurking in front of the Sharks net.

Kassian easily gathered Schlemko's flub then sent a backhand shot on net from 15 feet out. Martin Jones didn't read the shot as it floated through the five-hole for the game's only goal.

It was a simple mistake that ended up costing the Sharks the game. But in the playoffs, there are no such thing as a simple mistake. Everything is magnified. Schlemko's gaff was the difference between winning and losing. Simple as that.

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan has to be loving the results he's getting from his young players. They're limited in playoff experience, but they now hold a 2-1 lead in the series. Doing against his former team also has to be satisfying. He was the fall guy for a series of Sharks playoff failures. The Sharks current situation seems no different than any of those failures.

Pavelski's disjointed play seems to be the biggest issue for San Jose. The Sharks captain couldn't miss a year ago. This year, everything seems to be a step late, or an inability to keep control of the puck is netting more failed chances than not.

Without anyone else picking up Pavelski's slack, the Sharks simply look lost. Sunday was simply a reminder that this season's Sharks aren't great at having role players there to pick up the slack when a key player falls short. They had that last season. This year that just doesn't seem to be happening.

Game Notes:

* The 120 minute shutout span is the 5th worst in Sharks playoff history. San Jose would set a new franchise record if they are held scoreless for another 54 minutes. If that were the case, they would also extend their franchise record of 26 seasons without winning a Stanley Cup.

* Joe Thornton made his series debut, and obviously nothing to spark the Sharks offense. Thornton did little to create many chances for the Sharks, and never ventured tot eh front of the net.

* Mikkel Boedker was the loser in Thornton's return. The Sharks big free agent acquisition was scratched in favor of Thornton. It was a peculiar move given that rookie Marcus Sorensen is getting so much ice time. Sorensen hasn't done much in the three games of the series.

* Logan Couture ditched the wire mask that he wore in the first two games. the mask was there to protect his puck induced facial injury. The move did nothing to improve Couture's vision. He, like every other Shark, was held scoreless. He didn't create much offensively for San Jose.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
EDM 0 0 1 1
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 1, EDM, Kassian 2 (unassisted), 10:45.
Penalties
1st period - Pouliot, EDM (roughing), 16:43; Ward, SJ (tripping), 17:55.
2nd period - Caggiula, EDM (boarding), 6:00.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
EDM - Talbot 23 23
SJ - Jones 22 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
EDM 6 12 4 22
SJ 13 4 6 23
Power Play Conversion
EDM 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Cam Talbot
Martin Jones
Zach Kassian
Attendance
SAP Center - 17,562
Officials
Referees: Meier, Pollock. Linesmen: Cherrey, Panich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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